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Coming to town

Also present on the disc are the Dickinson clan — uber-producer and monster bassist Jim Dickinson, and his boys, Luther and Cody, from the North Mississippi Allstars. Looming in the background is the influence of Buddy Guy, for whom Mathus handled rhythm guitar chores on Guy's excellent return to roots effort, "Sweet Tea."

In this wide ranging affair, impressive in its breadth but occasionally lacking in memorable songs, Mathus lets us into the various musical spirits that swirled around him in his formative years. There's swampy rock 'n' roll fused with slamming hill country blues. There's whiskey-addled honky-tonk and eight-cylinder boogie. There's sanctifying gospel, laid on a bed of Southern soul.

While there's high musicianship throughout, chops are not what drives this record. This is a groove record where rhythm is king, and it's a gritty uninhibited roadhouse affair, with a bit of garage sensibility as well. Consider it a hybrid between R. L. Burnside and Southern Culture on the Skids — dynamic dirt-track delta blues that rumbles, smokes, burns some rubber and leaves some grease along the way. — Andy

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